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Ameritek, Canon in Fight Over Use of Web Domain Name

October 25, 2000|Denise Gellene

Since it set up shop on the Internet two years ago, Colton-based Ameritek saw its office equipment sales rise to an expected $5 million this year from $2 million in 1998. Canon copiers account for 60% of its sales.

Rather than offer congratulations, Canon U.S.A. took legal action against its vendor. The reason? Four of Ameritek's Internet domain names used the word Canon. Canon, which sells its own products on the Internet through a subsidiary, complained that Ameritek's domain names confused its customers.

United Nations arbitrators last week ordered Ameritek to transfer to Canon three names which the vendor had already stopped using. But in the case of the fourth--canoncopymachines.com--the World Intellectual Property Organization ruled in favor of Ameritek. It said that U.S. trademark law allows firms to use the marks of others as a means to identify the types of products sold.

Canon U.S.A. said in a statement that it is disappointed that the fourth domain name wasn't turned over. The New York-based arm of the Japan-based company said it was "evaluating its options."

Ameritek General Manager Richard Allen said his company hasn't received complaints about its other domain names, which include xeroxcopymachines.com and ricohdigitalcopiers.com.

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